This concluding chapter returns to theories of caste and to the manner in which Bhat culture and society may speak to such theories, by reflecting on the manner Bhats can be said to make their own history as opposed to simply inheriting a so-called traditional identity and profession. It points to continuities and differences between Bhats and other Indian Dalit (formerly Untouchable) communities. It engages the scholarship on Indian marginal and oppressed communities — loosely termed “Subaltern studies” — in order to ultimately argue for the Bhat-performers’ unique form of “poetic” consciousness and resistance.
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